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Better living through bike parking

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 30th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

New bike parking on NE Glisan at 28th gives room to park and room to breathe.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Yesterday I ventured over to Northeast 28th Street to see PBOT's latest installation of on-street bike parking.

New bike parking on Glisan at 28th-2
Bikes where cars used to be.

The City has been on a bike parking binge of late. With new on-street corrals installed in North Portland just last week, they seem to be putting these in as fast as maintenance crews' schedules allow. The new corral on NE Glisan at 28th in front of Pambiche restaurant is the 18th in Portland and two more (both on 28th, one at Ankeny and the other at Pine) will be done any day now.

New bike parking on Glisan at 28th-3

While staring at the new parking in front of Pambiche, it struck me that this is about much more than just a place to park a vehicle. At the popular restaurant, diners sit mere inches from the curb -- a place where, just a few days ago, cars spewed toxic exhaust into the air as they parked.

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Along with the staple racks, an adjacent bike lane increases the buffer zone between humans and car even more. The result is a space that is now open and clear; a place where people have more room (and cleaner air) to breathe.

New bike parking on Glisan at 28th-4

I find this sort of thing profound. Imagine, something that comes out of the transportation department (not from health services or environmental planning) that has a direct, positive impact on the health of our city and our quality of life (not to mention that Pambiche now has 20 more parking spaces for paying customers).

Often, amid "bike vs. car" wars, debates over funding, and wonky infrastructure discussions, we lose sight of the fact that bikes are much more than just a viable form of transportation. A city that puts a high-priority on bicycling is a city that will hasten not just a transformation in how we move around, but in how we feel and how we experience urban life.

-- For more on bike corrals, browse our Bike Parking section archives.

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Comments
  • peejay June 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Jonathan:

    Your point about bikes instead of cars right in front of the sidewalk tables was exactly what my girlfriend said when she heard about this corral. It's now a much more pleasant place to eat, even if you happened to arrive by car. That, and the sight of happy people dining is so much more visible to everybody going along Glisan, so it's a huge win for the restaurant, for diners, for the neighborhood. And for us.

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  • tbird June 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Awesome.
    More please...
    This area, 28th in particular between Stark and Broadway is a prime candidate for a cycle track, narrow street, agro motorist speed, heavy bike traffic and lots of cafes/stopping points etc make for a dicey mix. I can say without a doubt that most of the negative interactions I've had in PDX with motorist have been along this stretch.

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  • Steve Bozz June 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    It's also sweet that when these corrals are placed at an intersection, it prevents a car from blocking your site line when attempting to cross a busy street (i.e. Williams, Belmont, Hawthorne).

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  • Dave June 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Good deal in general, and I'll second Steve Bozz' comment--if you're driving and making a right turn it's a whole hell of a lot easier to see over 25 bikes than one Ford Excretion.

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  • buzz June 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I travel this stretch everyday and was happy to see these being installed. Hopefully, they can bring some awareness. I concur with tbird that this is a nasty stretch. Unfortunately, 28th is really the safest place to cross the Banfield. But, with all the dead end streets in that area, it is the easiest way to go if you the destination is further down in SE.

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  • jj June 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Now if only they'd put some racks in in front of the shops/restaurants on Division & 22nd where Red+Black used to be. There's one rack across the street at Nuestra Cocina, but nothing at all on the south side. I was sort of amazed that the developer didn't include any bike racks on the sidewalk there.

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  • BURR June 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    @ tbird #2: fortunately the E28th right of way is too narrow for a cycle track but it is perfect for giant sharrows markings.

    of course, PDOTs perferred solution is to route cyclists on a circuitous route through the neighborhood rather than inconveniencing motorists on 28th by encouraging cyclists to use 28th.

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  • Michael M. June 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Sheesh, I rode by there yesterday and didn't even see the corral at 28th/Glisan. I did, however, see the fresh paint and cones marking off what looks like it will be two more bike corrals further south along 28th, one on the west side of 28th at Ankeny (beside Crema) and the other a few blocks south on the east side. I confess I wasn't aware of the demand at the latter spot. But the 28th/Ankeny spot is sorely needed and has been for a long time.

    I've read elsewhere that Pambiche's use of the public sidewalks for it's business might be challenged. I know the last time I ate there I was surprised at how much of the public right of way Pambiche's seating impinges upon. Maybe they've since downsized it somewhat, though it sure doesn't look like from that photo. I'm all in favor of more bike corrals and more bike parking in general, but arguing that it's a good thing because it enhances a private business that already usurps a hefty amount of public space for itself seems spurious to me. Pambiche is a pretty small restaurant inside -- it couldn't handle the extra paying customers expanded bike parking might bring it. I hope the corral isn't perceived a some kind of legitimization of Pambiche's current strategy of paying rent for a small space and freeloading off public space and pedestrian right-of-way.

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  • Jacob June 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Wonder when us deep SEerners are gonna get some bike love.

    Good to see more bike facilities going in though, no matter where they are.

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  • BURR June 30, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    @ Michael #9 not to mention that eating all that deep fried Cuban food will probably kill you more surely than breathing a bit of exhaust gas

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  • SyntaxPolice June 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    This looks very nice! Pambiche is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland, and it'll be that much nicer to eat outside :)

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  • Daniel Ronan June 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Agreed these bike corrals are amazing. I particularly like the fact that a real tangible difference can be made in a community practically over night.

    I have and idea to make a bike corral out of a traffic circle (or roundabout) that I am not sure has been done before. I think it would be cool if we could get some neighborhood streets set up with these, especially those streets that have local commerce on them.

    Here's the post!

    http://pdxme.com/?p=234

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  • tbird June 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    BURR- I hear ya, maybe we should eliminate the storage (parking) of private property ( cars ) in public space. Then there would be room. :)
    I don't think sharrows would work well here, I've taken the lane and literally been assaulted by a motorist here. He got out of his car at the stop light and walked up and socked me in the head and shoved my girlfriend to the ground, all because we wouldn't move over while we approached an already red light.
    My vote is for the the cycle track.

    I still applaud the expansion of the bike corrals!

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  • feralcow June 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    i second what JJ said... also, how about some action in sellwood.

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  • BURR June 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    @ tbird #13. Sorry to hear about your assault. The whole idea of sharrows is to make the motorists aware that 'Bicyclists are Allowed Full Lane'. If there had been appropriate sharrows on the pavement I doubt you'd have been assaulted in such a manner.

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  • BURR June 30, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    btw, good luck getting parking removed from E28th for anything other than more parking.

    According to PDOT, Parking trumps ROW for Cyclists, nothing has changed recently in this regard.

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  • mmann June 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Jacob (#9)

    Hopefully coming to deep S.E. soon. Sarah Figliozzi (PDOT's bike corral person) and I met with the Montavilla Business Association a couple weeks ago to propose a bike Corral in front of Bipartisan Cafe at 79th & Stark. They were pretty positive. If the business owner and building owner are agreeable, it should happen soon, and would be, I think, the farthest east bike corral. This neighborhood could use it, especially with the recent opening of the Oregon Bike Shop just across the street. If you're up on Tabor, drop off the east side and pay a visit.

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  • Stig2 June 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    mmann #17

    Corrals in outer/deep SE? There are no sidewalks and the roads are cracked so deep you can get your wheels caught in them. Seeing another cyclist actually on the road on my commute is a rare sight. I feel like I have my own private bike lane each day.

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  • are June 30, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    bike parking good.

    I honestly do not see how a cycletrack would improve anything on 28th, which is my preferred route to get from NE to SE and back. there are all kinds of side streets to contend with. simply assert the lane.

    if someone assaults you, on your bike or off, call the police.

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  • Donna June 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    The angled racks are especially cool.

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  • Hart June 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    26th and Clinton, please!!!

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  • huey lewis June 30, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    stig2: i live in montavilla and i feel like i see loads of bikers. the demographic of this neighborhood is changing for sure, cyclists are a sign...

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  • Dan June 30, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I live around the corner from Pambiche on 29th. While its true that the bike corral has only removed three or four parking spaces it has had a much more dramatic effect on traffic, parking, and the quality of life on my residential street.

    Vehicles approaching Pambiche from the east apparently are perceiving the corral as a construction zone and turning onto my block to avoid it. Many stay, parking anywhere they can, including on crosswalks.

    My understanding is that the only request for a corral at this location came from Pambiche. Its difficult to fathom the need for bike parking at this intersection. Not so difficult to fathom is how Pambiche benefits from the corral. Customers seated at the restaurant's tables adjacent to the curb have easier and safer egress.

    Not so for bicyclists however. Take a look at the picture above. Cyclists using the corral have no access to the sidewalk-its blocked by cafe tables. When the parking spaces to the east and west of the corral are occupied (and they usually are) the only way to reach the sidewalk is to walk several feet onto Glisan. This is the only bike corral that lacks access to the sidewalk.

    Michael M. above (#8) is right when he writes the Pambiche usurps a hefty amount of public space for itself. More than half of its seating is on the sidewalk, which is constantly blocked by patrons and waitstaff. They are terrible neighbors.

    I'm all for on street bicycle parking where its needed. However if its used only to benefit private businesses at the expense others, further expansion of the bicycle corral program will suffer.

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  • Jacob July 1, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Stig2

    I live in Lents and see plenty of riders daily, not as many as one would see close in of course, but if you build it, they will come.

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  • JR July 1, 2009 at 5:45 am

    NE 28th between Stark and Glisan is part of a planned bike boulevard project, isn't it? I wonder what type of treatments they envision?

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  • JR July 1, 2009 at 5:47 am

    The little row of shops on Stark around 29th could really use one of these corrals. The Goodfoot, pizza place, and other bars there attract quite a bit of bike parking.. It's hard finding enough on many an occasion..

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  • OnTheRoad July 1, 2009 at 8:18 am

    [#8] ...Pambiche's current strategy of paying rent for a small space and freeloading off public space and pedestrian right-of-way.

    Totally agree.

    Coincidentally, today (July 1) a new set of sidewalk cafe guideline takes effect which would at least make them pay a lot more for use of public space. It used to be $10. Now it's $150 plus $4.50 per linear foot of cafe area to apply and $75 plus $1.50 for annual permit thereafter

    See this link for the regulations being considered. (Couldn't find final regulations adopted by City Council on June 3.)

    http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=38718&a=212182

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  • [...] on an On-Street Bike Parking Binge (BikePortland via [...]

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  • cyclist July 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I hate to rain on your parade Jonathan, but how much evidence is there that a bike corral is necessary at this location? To be honest, this corral should have been placed on SE 28th four blocks south of Glisan, where it would have served the Laurelhurst, the gelato shop, the various restaurants around the area, Beulahland, etc. There's a HUGE demand for bike parking on this stretch of 28th, and you frequently see bikes locked to every available surface when you walk down 28th.

    On the other hand, the location of this corral pretty much just serves Pambiche. East of Pambiche I'm pretty sure Glisan is almost entirely residential, and to the west the only businesses I can remember are a small pizza joint and a Plaid Pantry.

    To me it seems like Dan (#23) is spot on, in that the request for this corral from Pambiche was made in order to make their on-sidewalk dining a more pleasant experience. I'd also like to second his observation that the corral is hindered significantly by the lack of access from the sidewalk, a problem caused by the same tables that benefit from the corral.

    Considering the fact that the city has a tight, limited budget, I'd prefer they take more care with finding sites for corrals than "Business X wants one here." I would be absolutely *shocked* if this corral is ever full, and that's a real shame considering that if they'd placed it a block or two from the Laurelhurst on 28th it almost certainly would be full every day of the week.

    Last thing before I go. Jonathan, I believe your job as a journalist is to think about issues such as these when you put an article together. There's just isn't any analysis in this article, despite the fact that you allude to the potential reason for the corral right in your article (Pambiche diners no longer choking on toxic fumes). Shouldn't you have considered the Pambiche angle more critically? Shouldn't you have wondered if Pambiche was trying to game the system by requesting bike parking where a need didn't exist? What if other businesses see this and start doing similar sorts of things? Are all bike corrals good, no matter where they go or how frequently they are utilized? This article seems more like a PR piece for Pambiche and PDOT than a real news piece. It seems like you consider yourself a journalist, which is why I think you should hold what you write to a higher standard.

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  • BikingViking July 1, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Dan, Sorry to hear about your negative experience with Pambiche. It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I can’t argue with the point that they usurp public space for their own benefit. However, if allowing inner-city restaurants a little leeway in this regard results in a thriving local restaurant scene (which I would argue it has), I’m all for it. Plus I’ve always found the staff and patrons to be understanding when I’m walking down Glisan, and I’ve never had my path blocked for more than a moment.

    As for the demand or lack thereof for this corral, there are several other businesses at the intersection (Lucky’s, the Laundromat, the pizza place, Plaid Pantry, etc.) Hopefully this corral will inspire more of their patrons to arrive by bike as well.

    I live on Pine St. a half block from the new corral in front of Ken’s Artisan Pizza and Bamboo Sushi. Although it will result in fewer parking spaces in front of my house, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for the greater good of the neighborhood.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Cyclist,

    thanks for your comment. Please note that this article was an editorial. If the tone itself didn't give that away, than you can notice the category label of "editorial".

    There's no analysis in this story because that was not my intent with this story. I plan on doing a more analysis-oriented piece on this and the two other new corrals on 28th today.

    As for this being a PR piece. You're entitled to your opinion, but sometimes I like to step back and reflect at the great progress being made by PBOT and I try to not always be the cynical/mad/pessimistic journalist.

    Sorry this story did not meet your expectations.

    As for how PBOT chooses locations. I also have an article planned on that. I can add now that this isn't an either/or situation. They have plans for tons more bike corrals all over the city and they have a strategy behind it.

    thanks for your feedback.

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  • maxadders July 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I'm curious to find out more about process behind selecting a location. I wonder if lawsuits are a possibility-- for PBOT supposedly favoring one business over another.

    I agree that the corral would be of more use down by 28th and Glisan.

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  • jon July 1, 2009 at 9:54 am

    i wouldnt complain about pambiche. they enhance the sidewalk atmosphere for pedestrians, its much better than walking along a dead stretch of sidewalk with no one in sight.

    what about making glisan into a cycle track? put both directions of bike lanes together on one side of the street and then put them between the sidewalk and the parked cars... this is a montreal style cycle track and is essentially a seperated bike path using the excess street right of way.

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  • El Biciclero July 1, 2009 at 10:03 am

    "I wonder if lawsuits are a possibility-- for PBOT supposedly favoring one business over another."

    If getting a bike parking corral near one's business is considered being "favored"--to the point where lawsuits would be a possibility--what would that mean? Businesses fighting over who gets bike parking? Sounds pretty cool, except for the favoritism/lawsuit angle. If businesses would actually start clamoring for bike corrals in front of their stores, preferring them to auto parking spaces, wow--talk about letting the market decide.

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  • Options Guy July 1, 2009 at 10:08 am

    To hear more about the City's plans for bike corrals and more, come to the August Bicycle Brown Bag - "Adventures in Bike Parking." Sarah Figliozzi will be the speaker.

    Thurs, Aug 20
    Noon-1pm
    Portland Building, Room C
    1120 SW 5th Ave

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  • Dan July 1, 2009 at 10:19 am

    According to the guidelines for sidewalk cafes referenced by Ontheroad (#27), businesses must maintain a pedestrian clearance of six feet and remove tables and chairs when closed. I just went and measured the clearance at Pambiche. It's less than five feet. (4'6" to 4'10" in the spots I measured). The cafe tables and benches adjacent to the restaurant are permanent fixtures. They are never moved. Additionally, Pambiche leaves their garbage receptacles and discarded cardboard on the sidewalk at night completely blocking the pedestrian right of way.

    BikingViking(#29), do you honestly believe a patron of the laundromat is going to lug their laundry into traffic on Glisan, and around the cafe seating when they can easily lock their bike two feet from the laundromat door? Or cross two busy intersections to get to the Plaid Pantry? Or use the corral instead of the bike racks located next the other businesses you mentioned?

    I'm not opposed to adaptive reuse of space used by cars. Bakery Bar down the block, has beautifully landscaped what they could have used as a parking lot for tables and bike parking. It is a wonderful asset to the neighborhood. And you know what? I don't have to squeeze through and endure incredulous stares from their patrons when I walk past it.(Nor does it attract dozens of suvs with WA license plates every weekend that are hostile towards me as pedestrian and cyclist)

    The irony here is that no business in Kerns is more antithetical toward achieving a pedestrian friendly neighborhood than Pambiche. And they've gamed something designed to provide just that for their own benefit- and solely their own benefit.

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  • Matt Picio July 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Jonathan (#31) - thanks for providing a reasoned, informative, polite response that addressed all of "cyclist"'s points in a professional manner.

    It's easy to critique, far less easy to do the footwork, the research, and the analysis - especially with limited staff. I think you and Elly do the job admirably.

    cyclist - not singling you out here, I think your points were well-made, appropriate, and conscientious, and we all have a responsibility to hold the media accountable. I think Jonathan does a great job, but that doesn't absolve the responsibility of us to ask questions and to practice critical thinking.

    I wish we could get this kind of reasoned dialog on Oregon Live. (the cynical side of me thinks we'd more likely have aerial transit via pegasi first)

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  • Jason July 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    @Stig2 (#17): I hear ya! Outer SE for me is Clackamas, Milwaulkie and Oregon City. Try crossing Hwy 224 @ 82nd Drive during rush hour, or "taking the lane" on Molalla Ave. in O.C. when your bike lane mysteriously vanishes for 3 blocks. Fun times!

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  • Michael M. July 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Jon #33 -- I wonder if you would say the same if a restaurant put seating in the bike lane: "they enhance the bike lane atmosphere for riders, it's much better than riding along a dead stretch of bike lane with no one in sight." I suspect you wouldn't. I remember there was quite a bit of griping and cries of foul on BikePortland when one or more of the cafes along the Waterfront multi-use path were trying to discourage cyclists from riding by their outdoor seating areas.

    I'm not particularly trying to come down hard on Pambiche -- I think it's for residents of the area, the city, and the restaurant to work out whatever problems its seating creates. I do think it takes up too much public space, to the point where it makes the experience of walking through that spot somewhat uncomfortable and, depending upon what you're carrying or pushing, somewhat inconvenient, especially for people in wheelchairs or mobility devices.

    But really, my point is that an editorial like Jonathan wrote that praises bike corrals for enhancing the desirability of a business that is already taking some questionable liberties ought to point out those liberties. I guess, for me, "cycling advocacy" is most effective and persuasive when it encompasses the totality of public-space use; that is, when it takes into consideration not just the needs of cyclists but also the needs of pedestrians and motorists. I think it's all about balance, which can be tricky. We've suffered for years under mindsets that have put far too much emphasis on the needs of motorists. To skew that imbalance to cyclists at the expense of pedestrians seems as improper.

    By & large, the thoughtful and wide-ranging coverage on BikePortland usually takes all this into account -- that's one thing I really appreciate about it. This particular editorial struck me as uncharacteristically myopic, in that it praises the benefits of some infrastructure to the patrons of a restaurant while failing to mention that particular restaurant has caused some issues for other infrastructure. It would be like saying some cafe has added tables on a multi-use path and isn't that wonderful because it was always hard to get a seat outside there, while failing to mention that, oops, cyclists will now have to find an alternate route because it's not safe for them to travel through. I would not call that balanced or particularly thoughtful coverage.

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  • Esther July 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    @Dan #39: I'm not sure which parking "2 feet from the [laundromat] door" you're talking about. I looked on Google streetview and I see the Pambiche seating on one side, and a bunch of newspaper boxes on the other. I do see one street pole, but parking there would cause just as many issues for pedestrians as Pambiche seating, would it not?

    I took 50 lbs of laundry to the laundromat (not that one, but another one near there) the other day in my bike trailer:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3646/3678569105_179d8b33d2.jpg
    I did indeed need to pull up to the front door to load & unload; but there, as in this case, there was no appropriate space to leave my bike that wouldn't create a hazard for pedestrians. If I had been at this laundromat, I definitely would have then taken the time and effort to lock my bike and trailer to one of the racks in the corral.

    As for whether someone would cross a busy intersection in exchange for being able to park to a rack: bikers are having to become more like car drivers in Portland now. We get stuck in traffic jams behind slow people whom we can't pass (this happened to me yesterday on NE B'way and on Williams), we go farther afield in search of parking (I chose to park at a bike corral half a block away on Williams yesterday, instead of struggling with an always-crowded ribbon rack at Fifth Quadrant), and we have to be more conscientious about our impacts on other people (e.g. not blocking sidewalks or curb cuts).

    Whether or not Pambiche is violating rules about blocking the sidewalk is a concern that should be brought up with the city (maybe by you? and other people you know that have had concerns about it?), and is not really within the purview of Bikeportland.org and the people who are reading it.

    But the fact is lone staple racks can and do often use valuable sidewalk space, which I think is very important. When I parked at Failing and Williams yesterday, I noticed that bikes were parked to the corral, instead of to the street signs alongside 5Q and Pix Patisserie-which would make an already crowded street more crowded, what with sidewalk tables that are there. would you also say 5Q and Pix are pedestrian un-friendly?

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  • Hutch July 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Those of you remarking that bike parking on 28th South of Glisan (#29) would better serve cyclists, please stay tuned as there is more bike parking coming to Kerns Neighborhood this summer. Also, please come celebrate biking in Kerns as part of the Sunday Parkways SE on August 16th. The neighborhood association will be providing subsidized helmets and lights through the Legacy Trauma Nurses program, have Bike Gallery employees on hand for tune ups and advice, live music and other cool stuff--all thanks to a grant from Southeast Uplift.

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  • Hutch July 1, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Forgot to mention, the music will be at the Box and One building (Crema) and the event tables will be set up catty-corner across Ankeny in the Northwest Publishing parking lot.

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  • maxadders July 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    #34: "If getting a bike parking corral near one's business is considered being 'favored'--to the point where lawsuits would be a possibility--what would that mean?"

    Let's say you have two taquerias, a block apart. They both want the added traffic and visibility that a bike corral offers (a pretty well established phenomenon). The business with the corral immediately outside gets more benefit than the one even just a block away.

    Will the city be willing to offer the second business its very own bike corral? Probably not.

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  • cyclist July 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Matt Picio (#37): Thanks for the reasoned comment. I think Jonathan actually holds a pretty powerful position in the community in that he has a voice that can be heard both by decision-makers and by the community at large, this site more or less functions as a bridge between the two. My main concern is that he tends not to critically cover news items that are superficially "pro-bike," and Portland is at the stage where we could use somebody like him to do that.

    It's my belief that if Jonathan wants to grow as a journalist he's going to have to take the next step and start thinking more critically about issues such as these. It's my opinion that this story would have been more interesting if he'd considered the possibility that Pambiche was gaming the system to benefit its customers (rather than cyclists)... of course that's because I'm fairly well convinced of this already, so you can take that with a grain of salt I guess.

    You are 100% correct though, Jonathan's position does not in any way, shape or form absolve the community of its responsibility to think critically for itself. That's part of the reason why the comments section can be valuable. I take that responsibility seriously, which is why I posted my comment above.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    cyclist (and others),

    I appreciate your feedback on my work. Please understand that I don't approach every story the same way. I thought I made it clear in a previous comment, that my reason for doing the story about Pambiche was strictly to share an opinionated perspective of how the new facility had an impact on the health of people and our city.

    I try to be critical as much as I can...but it is often a luxury I can't afford because it takes more time, research, and analysis to do well.

    you'll be happy to know that i share your belief that for me to "grow as a journalist" I need to start thinking more critically. you're preaching to the choir! ;-).

    thanks again for the feedback.

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  • Dan July 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    "I do see one street pole, but parking there would cause just as many issues for pedestrians as Pambiche seating, would it not?" -Esther

    Is your bike and trailer 75 feet long? Would you be parking it parallel to another bike and trailer 75 feet long with four and half feet in between?
    Would the bike/trailers be parked on the sidewalk next to the laundromat from 8am til midnight? Would there be people sitting on the bikes and trailers giving pedestrians nasty looks and making an occasional rude comment? Would there be an additional line of people waiting to sit on the bike/trailers blocking the four and one half feet between them every night and all day on weekends?

    Can you see how ridiculous your premise is?

    As for whether or not this website is the appropriate place for this conversation, why don't we leave that up to its editor/creator?

    The fact that so many have participated in such thoughtful discussion under this post leads me to believe that it is an appropriate forum.

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  • Michael M. July 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Jonathan: "i share your belief that for me to "grow as a journalist" I need to start thinking more critically" --

    This is good, because I'm sure if there's one thing your experience running BikePortland has taught you, it's that "Everyone's a critic." And to be good critics we need to be more critical ... er, I mean, of course, we need to start thinking more critically. :-)

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  • forest July 1, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    FYI-They just installed a couple of these bike corrals on the corner of N Williams and NE Failing last weekend too. Bike on.

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  • Esther July 2, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Dan, I was not trying to minimize the issue that Pambiche may indeed be violating code by restricting sidewalk access. Again, I wholeheartedly encourage you and others to contact the city about your concerns. My point was that the more streetside parking to keep bikes from blocking sidewalk access, the better, and I was attwmpting to illustrate an example in which this corral may very much help the neighborhood by providing off-sidewalk parking. I understand that this has turned into a "why does pambiche deserve this parking" issue, but like I said this isn't only about pambiche, and issues of sidewalk seating (pambiche and many other establishments around town) have an established method of redress that is separate from the bike corral process.

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  • Roger Geller July 2, 2009 at 9:56 am

    RE: bicycle corral at 28th and Glisan

    It has come to our attention that there is some dissatisfaction with the bicycle corral installed this past Monday at 28th & Glisan. Our bicycle corral program is intended to improve conditions in Portland--particularly in commercial areas where bicycle use is high. We find, and have been told almost universally by the merchants on whose streets we've installed them, that the bicycle corrals improve the pedestrian space, create a better environment for people to meet, eat and talk on the sidewalks, make their businesses more visible, while communicating a message of bicycle-friendliness, which is a good message in a city of cyclists. People riding bicycles also tell us they appreciate the bicycle corrals for the ample parking they provide as well as for the visibility they bring to bicycling, in general. To date we have installed 20 of these corrals to overwhelmingly positive review.

    Nevertheless, it is understandable that unintended site-specific consequences of a corral may develop. There is a suggestion that traffic patterns on a residential street near this intersection have been altered in response to that particular corral. The last thing we are looking to do is degrade conditions in Portland's neighborhoods. Be assured: we have heard this message loud and clear: there is some dissatisfaction with the corral at 28th and Glisan. We have also heard positive mention of this corral.

    The corral was just installed. At this point it seems reasonable to give it time and see how it operates. Change in roadway conditions often creates some change in behavior, sometimes temporary and sometimes more lasting. We will observe how this particular corral operates, and expect that we will hear from the public, as well, over the coming days and weeks as to how well it operates. Of course, the overall change we are promoting with these corrals is increasing use of bicycles for transportation and decreasing use of automobiles. While that is a vision slowly being realized, that change will perhaps do the most to improve conditions in Portland's neighborhoods.

    Thanks for your interest, comments and suggestions.

    Roger Geller
    Sarah Figliozzi

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  • OnTheRoad July 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I took a good look at the Pambiche corral yesterday, and also re-read an article in the Willamette Pedestrian newsletter about cafe regs.

    I noticed that the corral is ONLY is front of Pambiche – there is still one auto spot in front of the laundry at the corner. (So a previous comment about improving visibility at the corner by eliminating car parking does not hold.)

    The sidewalk regs state that curbside seating is allowed IF there is a two-foot buffer from the curb. Pambiche has about 6-9 inches at their curbside tables. And if they had to move their tables to get the 2-feet, they would then infringe on the clear pedestrian zone.

    BUT, the 2-foot buffer can be waived (at PBOT's discretion) if it is adjacent to bike corrals or no-parking zones.

    So, if the bike corral had not been installed, Pambiche would probably have had to remove the tables next to the curb.

    How convenient a bicycle corral was installed just in front of Pambiche. Start your conspiracy theories now.

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  • Michael M. July 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Esther (#49) "issues of sidewalk seating ... have an established method of redress that is separate from the bike corral process."

    See, this is where we disagree. You seem to believe that bike corrals, and presumably any other traffic-related infrastructure issues, should be handled as separate and discrete processes. I think proper, effective planning needs to encompass the big picture of any particular location. Before installing a bike corral, widening a sidewalk, widening a street, putting in or taking out a bike lane or cycletrack, the city ought to look at what conditions are already like, what problems need redressing, and how the proposed change will affect conditions for every constituent group (not just cyclists, motorists, or pedestrians discretely). It strikes me that the city's action here has somewhat legitimized Pambiche's code violations and (see OnTheRoad's comment above) given it ample ammunition for obtaining waivers to go on blocking sidewalk space and being, in Dan's (#36) words, "antithetical toward achieving a pedestrian friendly neighborhood."

    I don't understand why you would think these should all be separate processes. An intersection -- and by extension, a city -- is much greater than the sum of its individual parts. When it comes to liveability and use of public space, it needs to be addressed as a whole.

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